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Phoenix City Council OKs General Plan amendment to allow Mayo Clinic expansion near Desert Ridge

Phoenix City Council continues to shepherd envisaged bioscience corridor
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Phoenix City Council is paving the way for the next chapter of bioscience in the Valley of the Sun to be built atop 494.39 acres of what was previously state trust land.

During the afternoon hours of Wednesday, Oct. 18, Phoenix City Council unanimously approved two complex development proposals to make way for healthcare industry development atop vacant land in and around the Desert Ridge Marketplace coined ‘The Discovery Oasis’ biotech corridor.

Attached to the now approved General Plan amendment, state trust land purchase and planned urban development proposal, is another healthcare development by Arizona State University where city officials say an ‘ASU Health Futures Center’ will emerge.

The Mayo Clinic, which was founded by Will and Charlie Mayo who pioneered an integrated, team-based approach to medicine — is the largest not-for-profit medical group practice in the world.

From a technical standpoint, Phoenix City Council made two formal approvals yesterday to allow for the Mayo Clinic expansion plans:

  • First there was the General Plan amendment — GPA-DSTV-1-23-2 — that spans lands (417.63 acres) generally found south of Loop 101, east of 56th Street, west of 64th Street, and north of the Reach 11 sports fields.
  • The second approval (76.76 acres) focuses on portions of the swath of land now designated for development — rezoning application Z-4-23-2 — found about 530 feet south of the southwest corner of 64th Street and Mayo Boulevard, which is now Ordinance 6-7180 to make way for the planned urban development project under the guise of the Mayo Clinic.

The entire area is found in the Desert Ridge planning boundary of Phoenix, city officials say.

The owner of the property was the Arizona State Land Department and through approvals gained by Nick Wood at the Phoenix-based Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer buildings destined to sprout atop 417.63 acres are envisaged as clinical practices, education and research buildings, as well as the creation of a new brick-and-mortar biotech and healthcare corridor — all with the cache of the Mayo Clinic brand.

On the smaller portion, just over 76 acres, is a planned unit development to include typical commercial structures and ancillary buildings.

Phoenix City Council approved the rezoning of some 500 acres in north Phoenix on Oct. 18 and to better understand the myriad development standard amendments and dedications, go HERE.

A complex, meaningful healthcare development in Phoenix

Dr. Richard Gray, surgical oncologist and professor of surgery — who serves as vice president of the Mayo Clinic and CEO of the Mayo Clinic Arizona — spoke to Phoenix City Council prior to the public vote yesterday afternoon.

“We are here at the right place and the right time to make a significant impact,” Dr. Gray told City Council during the Oct. 28 public hearing. “We feel incredibly fortunate to be here at this time.”

Dr. Gray pointed out to the Phoenix City Council that from his perspective the Mayo Clinic is making the investment in Phoenix because of the collaborative nature found at City Hall.

“To make an impact on affordability, access and health disparities this type of transformation requires collaborations, and this project will allow those collaborations to move that transformation forward quicker than any of us can do alone,” he said of what a bioscience corridor can do for American healthcare challenges.

“We look forward to advancing this initiative in Phoenix in the years ahead and when people think of where healthcare innovation is happening we can expect that all will turn to Phoenix, and ‘Discovery Oasis’ and be impressed with what we planned here today. We do expect this project will leave an incredible legacy for the city of Phoenix and for the Mayor Clinic, and most importantly, for the patients of our city, and everyone who will benefit.”

Phoenix Councilman Jim Waring, who represents District 2, the site of the 500-acre project, lauded the efforts of staff, his colleagues and the Mayo Clinic.

“We’re just really blessed to have you here — just a 15-minute drive from my house, but I think anybody who needs healthcare in Arizona really benefits from this,” he said. “Your brand may not be as well known as Coca-Cola but it’s up there and that’s saying something. It’s not easy to cut through the noise of day-to-day life but when you hear the words Mayo Clinic, people know what that implies.”

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